Architectural Ceramic Assemblies Workshop
August 12–15, 2019

ACAW is a hands-on research and development workshop for architects and facade engineers to explore the use of terra cotta in high-performance facade design.

Representatives of industry and academia from around the world gather in Buffalo, New York for the Architectural Ceramic Assemblies Workshop, presented by Boston Valley Terra Cotta and the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning and supported by the UB Sustainable Manufacturing and Advanced Robotic Technologies (SMART).

The workshop’s objective is to introduce and consider the properties of terra cotta earlier in the architect’s design process and to develop research and design models between manufacturing and architectural industries useful to the efficient production of high-performance facade solutions. Through pre-design and prototype development, teams’ exploration includes the use of new digital tools in the production of terra cotta assemblies, the development of unitized façade systems, and how the variable materiality of terra cotta (through-body color, finish and glaze) can inform and enhance a façade’s performance.

The ACAWorkshop culminates in a weeklong event, with teams constructing system models from their prototypes, and presenting their studies to peers in the industry. Check out our News section for articles about the ACAWorkshops. To see explorations from previous years, check out photos and video of our past events.

Have an idea you’d like to explore at the 2019 ACAWorkshop?

Contact us at

“In an action-packed week, the ACAW provides invaluable hands-on experience working with clay, terracotta, glazes and the ceramic arts and architecture’s best contemporary practitioners. Regardless of your level of experience upon arrival, at the end of the week, you will be further inspired and more deeply knowledgeable of ceramics and their architectural possibilities.”

Craig Copeland, AIA, LEED AP BD+C

Associate Partner, Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects

“The ACAWorkshop is absolutely unique in the construction business worldwide. The collaboration between Boston Valley, the University at Buffalo and various architects, facade consultants and designers is just amazing. The transfer of knowledge about terracotta could not be better spread. The blinkers have been taken away and new fields have been explored in a way which only can be achieved by such an open-minded and interdisciplinary group of encouraged people. Many thanks to all involved to execute this matchless event. Looking forward to next year – but the bar has already been set very high.”

Gerd Hoenicke

Director of Pre-Construction Services, Schüco

“The Architectural Ceramics Assemblies Workshop is a unique event which brings together artists, designers, engineers, architects, and specialist consultants under one roof. Material investigations and the development of prototypes utilizing terracotta in high-performance cladding assemblies, serve as a vehicle for both Boston Valley and participants to push forward innovative fabrication techniques.”

Stan Su

Director of Enclosure Design, Morphosis

Watch the video from our inaugural year to learn more about the ACAWorkshop. 

The 2016 Architectural Ceramic Assemblies Workshop brought together a collection of interdisciplinary professionals working collaboratively in small groups to explore innovative ceramic façade solutions to architectural challenges.


Explore past ACAWorkshops. Check out who attended, who presented, and what subject material was explored.

Contact Us

Have a question about the workshop? Interested in becoming a participant? Send us a message and we will get back to you shortly.

Contact Us

2 + 1 = ?

Newsletter Sign-Up

Even if you aren’t attending, stay up to date with what’s happening at the Architectural Ceramic Assemblies Workshop.

Presented By: